Voices from the Past

This forum is open to all of the villagers of Trelawnyd past and present

I would like for them to share their memories, old photographs, family histories and past Village news with me so that I may be able to present a comprehensive record of this small. ancient and facinating Welsh Village Community throughout the ages.

All photographs will be returned after being scanned and published

For those that want to read a comprehensive study on the History of Trelawnyd, please refer to the Book "TRELAWNYD PAST & PRESENT" by Daphne and Ken Davies

The Village Flower Show Blog can be viewed at

and my personal Village based blog can be seen at


Best Wishes

John Gray

Trelawnyd 571838

Email : jgsheffield@hotmail.com
Many thanks to the following citizens of Trelawnyd for their conributions so far:
Mrs Gwyneth Jones, Mrs Gladys Jones, Mrs Olwenna Hughes, Mr Trevor Evans, Mr Hubert Evans, Mrs Bryn, Davies, Mr Islwyn Thomas, Mrs Pat Bagguley, Mrs Joanne Hewitt, Mrs Beryl Evans, Mrs Daphne Jones, Mrs Audrey Jones,Mr Basil Davies, Miss Mona Davies, Mr Graham Jones. Mrs Iola Endres

Mrs Beryl Evans

Mrs Beryl Evans
Years in the Village 41

"I came to the village in 1970. My husband, Arthur, was born and bred in the village and was a master builder and was responsible for many of the newer houses in the villlage. Rhodfa Arthur where we are now was named after him!"

"He was a lifelong member of the Male Voice Choir and was presented with a fifty year service memorial plate in 1983 and was Church Warden here at St Michaels for over 25 years"

An old photo of the interior of St Michaels (The famous Organ is on the left)

"I played the organ at St Michaels for over 24 years and took over from Miss B.A.Jones....now she always had the key to the organ and it was always kept locked at all times (chuckles) she used to hang on to it like fire and wouldn't give that key away to ANYONE! *
Now I never told anyone for years that I could play when I came to the village and then I used to have Miss Jones for tea and one day Arthur said to me "Beryl you'll have to tell Miss Jones that you can play the piano" and after she knew she asked me to start to play.....a big honour I can tell you!"

*In Daphne Jones' interview she noted that when she was a child Miss B.A.Jones had sole charge of the organ key even then and even her mother, who was the rector's wife and a talented pianist to boot was NOT allowed to play it

Beryl has been a member of St Michaels Church since she came to the village in 1970. She was Chair of the Community Council three times and worked on the council for over ten years and played an active part in the local "Meals on wheels" group.

A presentation to Mr Norman Roberts by members of the Community Council and Village Welfare committee . Mr Roberts was Secretary to the community council and Chairman of The Trelawnyd Flower Show ( a position I now hold)
Beryl is first on the right on the front row
The Trelawnyd Women's Institute in 1970 the year Beryl arrived in Trelawnyd

Mr Hubert Evans

Mr Hubert Evans
Years In the Village 86

"My parents are not from the village. My Father was born in Acrefair and my mother was from Caernarvon. Before I was born my father went to work in "Lakes" in Caernarvon which was a large store. They married and had two children- my elder brothers.
Now......the person my father worked for owned Shop Newydd in the village here and he asked my father if he would like to come along and manage it for him....that's how they came to live in Trelawnyd.

He managed the shop and lodged in Byron Street where we are now then moved to Plas-yn-Dre in the High Street where I was born.
Byron Street in its early days
The Bryn Teg fields were the cow is grazing is now the sight of a set of bungalows
"Anyhow he managed in the 1920s the shop was sold on and my father was out of work again! Mind you he was a bit of an entrepreneur and he opened his own shop next to the Mostyn Arms Pub, which in them days was purely a grocery shop
Hubert's father outside his shop which he ran twice
 "He was doing quite well..but the larger stores on the corner of Well Street went empty and the person who owned it persuaded my father to take it on because they said that a big firm from Liverpool was going to take it over.......that was all kidology!...my dad...muggins....took it on and the business went bust....

My father moved on again!
By that time we had moved into one of the council houses at Erw Wen ( number 4) and my father went to work for a farmer's cooperative who had a dept in Dyserth. He went around the farms collecting orders from the outlying farms and had a motorbike although he had NEVER ridden a bike in his life!

He didn't stick to that very long either ( chuckles) but then decided to become a baker!
He had no experience in baking whatsoever but start he did! and after a period in a little bakery in Gwaenysgor he reopened his original shop as a bakery

He never made himself much money.....he was always broke.....but he always gave things a go......."
Hubert's father's shop (left) and the closed Mostyn Arms in the 1960s 
*It is interesting to note that Hubert and his brothers went on to become very successful bakers in nearby Prestatyn

Mrs Daphne Jones

Mrs Daphne Jones
Years in the village 1940-1949

Daphne's Father the Rev David Jenkins came to the village as Rector of St Michael's in 1938
The above is a rare early shot of the church and rectory ( which is hidden away behind the trees)
The rectory was built in 1842 and had allotted to it 4 acres of land which Daphne's father farmed to supplement the family's income
The rectory as it is today.

"The rectory as I recall was a solid house which always looked better from the outside than it did inside. There was no interesting features indoors.
As you went through the front door, there was a study on the left and a drawing room on the right. Further down the corridor was the kitchen and scullery on the left and dining room on the right. Upstairs was a bathroom, three bedrooms and a playroom.
I was told that when my mother was going to give birth to me there was a terrific snow storm and my father took her to a nursing home in Rhyl in the only vehicle in the village, Mr Royals electrical shop van.

One afternoon when I was around 23 months old, I remember that I couldn't find my parents anywhere....then my father came out of their bedroom, took me by the hand and said that he had something to show me.
In the bedroom was a blazing fire and a plump smiling nurse was holding my baby brother, David.
Nurse Jones is the central lady just right of Miss B.A.Jones who is planting the tree
The district nurse was Nurse Jones mother of Rhys Jones, who became a well known musician and broadcaster*(see last photo)
I remember that my father farmed chickens, sheep and cows and every week Mr siddall, the egg man, would call each week to buy our surplus eggs. He used to take me for a ride in his lorry to buy eggs at the out lying farms...THAT.....certainly wouldn't happen these days.......but it was an era of trust in those days , when we all looked out for each other.
We left Trelawnyd when my father look up his next position in Mostyn. I remember our "leaving do" in the school where David and I were given inscribed prayer books which unfortunately I do not have now.

Trelawnyd/ Newmarket has always symbolised home to me.......a safe haven in a story world"
Rector AND farmer...The Rev Jenkins & Daphne feeding his cattle with the memorial Hall in the background

The Jenkins family with St Michael's in the background
A rare shot of the rather grand drive to the rectory. part of the drive exists but the fields are now bungalows in Rhodfa Arthur
* Nurse Jones' son Rhys is 2nd boy from the left standing
Meurig Royles(2nd kneeling from the left)
Bryn Davies (third from left)
and Basil "Ochr y Gop"(second from right*
still live in the village
Bryn and Basil are only two of three people that still live in the houses that they were born in

Mrs Pat Bagguley. Mrs Joanne Hewitt (nee Bagguley)

Mrs Pat Bagguley
Years in the Village 73

Mrs Joanne Hewitt
Years In the Village 48

I spent an entertaining afternoon listening to  Village History anecdotes from the mother and daughter team of Pat and Joanne.
This is the briefest of excerpts from a comprehensive "interview". As in all of the contributors to this blog, I shall return to Pat and Joanne's stories.

Reviewing the 1958 photograph of the Village Welfare Committee*

"Everyone seemed to have a nickname back then. It was a way of differentiating between Mr Jones here and Mr Jones there....
For example the man in the centre of the back row was always known as
"Jack Garreg-Llwyd" (or Jack Greystones -The name of his house)
The nickname of the man on the end of the second row
Di "Socks"
The rather smart lady (Bottom row third from left) is the famous Miss B.A.Jones who was known by all as Miss Jones "Bryn Teg" (Bryn Teg was the smallholding she shared with her sister Jenny-The house still stands behind Byron Street)
and the first man on the second row was known as
(Maldwin-the-black was so called because he lived in the house where the old pub The Black Boy was situated on High Street)"
This is the old row of houses on high street ( opposite to Bonc terrace)
The Black Boy pub was situated at the bottom of the row)
*The Village Welfare committee ran for many years in the village and was concerned with raising funds for the upkeep of the village Hall. There are four surviving villagers from the above 1958 photo
Islwyn Thomas (second from left top row), Bob Davies ( Top Row first on right),Gladys Jones (first left bottom row) and Bryn Davies (second row, second from right)
Just out of interest Gladys Jones' husband had a nickname too he was known as Bob the Railway

"My very first memories of the village was sitting in the road with my friends. It was London Road and the surface had just been covered with tarmac.We just sat on the side of the dusty road prodding the bubbles in the tarmac with sticks
Even then there was little traffic and I remember that every so often one of us kids would shout "CAR!!!!!!" and we would amble to the side of the road to let it pass by"
(You have to be a present day villager to appreciate just how ironic this statement is-given the often dangerous amount of "modern day" traffic

Mr Trevor Evans

Mr Trevor Evans
Age 86
Years in the Village 86

"I have lived all my life in the village (with the brief exception of the war years when I was in the Royal Airforce) My Mother was from the village, my father from outside and I spent my first few years at number 4 Bonc Terrace. ( see the header photograph: Bonc terrace can be seen at the right hand side of the terrace just before the Memorial Hall)

This photograph shows a couple with a baby stood behind one of the WhiteRose buses
The couple are Trevor's parents
AND the baby is in fact Trevor himself.
The other gentleman in the photo is the school attendant officer who had red hair and was called Mr Red
Trevor jokes about the common fallacy that the car in the photograph was a taxi
He states his mother told him that it was in fact the car of the photographer a Mr Pickard!

The village "stores" can be seen on the left. The following contributer Olwena Hughes lived at the shop with her parents and sister's family
"Looking back at the village in the 1920s and early 1930s, to me it seemed a very happy place which was full of community spirit.
It was a lovely village and there was always something going on in the Memorial Hall. There were whist drives, 2 act dramas and concerts. The Male Voice choir started there in 1933 and the Headmaster of the school Mr William Humphreys was it's  original conductor.
(Mr Humphreys was the schoolmaster from 1923 to 1944)
The village them was quite musically orientated
Mr  could be terribly strict and every night would walk up London Road for his constitutional to the pond up London Road which was called "Pwll Budr" ( or "dirty pond"). If he saw you he would always tell you off and we all knew he was in fact walking up London road not just for a walk, but he was in fact on his way to the pub The Crown"

Mrs Olwena Hughes

Mrs Olwena Hughes
Years in the Village 86

"I was raised in no 3 London Road, which was then a row of cottages and not a single home as is is today.
As a little girl,I remember trying to sneak onto the back of Will Smith's cart with my friend Megan Lewis and was told off sternly for doing so!".
Will Smith was the coal merchant and he lived in your cottage down Cwm Road, though your cottage was known as Llan Cottage Number 1 rather than it's name now which is Bwthyn-y-llan"*

"Will Smith had a white horse which was always grazed in fields next to the Church.
His Daughter was called Brenda and she  played the piano , I remember going around to their house from time to time, to be taught songs in their (your) front room!"

Olwena was born in the first cottage on the left in the white building in front of the general stores , she was later to live in the stores itself with her parents and sister's family then she moved to a house on well street
The above picture was taken before 1908 as the Memorial Hall had not yet been built
The very small building on the end of the Olwena's row was a butcher's shop

The same scene taken today. The row of cottages have been converted into one house. The village stores is now two cottages
Olwena showed me the above piece of tiny pottery which I suspect is incredibly rare: it has a interesting history as she explained:
"This pot comes from Shop Ucha **. This shop was the paper shop which  was on Chapel Street, .and was always very popular when there was a concert on in the Memorial Hall when everyone wanted sweets.
If you look very, very closely you can see that there is a tiny picture of the memorial hall on the pot itself...I doubt anyone else in the village has a pot like this one"

This is Arcadian China and on the underneath it has printed
"Made for J Jones, Shop Ucha, Newmarket"
If you look closely the picture shows the Hall as having a weather cock  and a smaller cupola on the roof indicating that the photograph that was used for the pot decoration was taken before 1918

The Memorial Hall pre 1918

A rare photo of Choir members turning up for practice at the Memorial Hall in the early 1950s. Shop Ucha can be seen clearly in the background. The shop is now a private house
*Llan in Welsh means Church....Bwthyn-y-Llan therefore means "Church Cottage" in Welsh
Olwenna (right) in a local newpaper story of Trelawnyd in 1980

Mr Islwyn Thomas

Mr Islwyn Thomas
Age: 89
Years in the Village 89

"Siop Ganol....yes......I worked there for 18 years.
I was originally a grocery/errend boy at I.P.Jones' shop in the 1930s.....I was just like Granville from "Open all Hours" 
Islwyn as a boy, holding Iola Jones ( daughter of I.P.Jones)
The lady is Auntie Winnie ( wife of Jack Garreg Llwyd)

Siop Ganol in 2010
I was out everyday......yesi........I remember taking the order for Mrs Jones Pen-y-Cefn on my bike (see Gwyneth Jones' memory)
You would start every morning at 8.30 sharp.
Every morning you would get a duster and you would be there until half past nine dusting every item in the shop....tins....EVERY single item!
Then at half past nine you would have your book (there was two of us, Hwyl Jones was the other boy) and you would go around the whole village...You would write done everything you had available in the shop in your book ( to remember them isn't it?) then go around all of the houses.
I had this part of the village, Hwyl had the Erw Wen part....we would collect all of the orders ready for the afternoon delivery.
Mr Jones would deliver to the houses over at the Marian Tuesdays and Fridays by horse and cart. We delivered our stuff by bicycle...come rain, come sleet and come snow...
Blinking eck..we were busy"
A rare photograph from the Magazine "Today" which was published around 1952
Islwyn is the chap on the left packing the groceries

Mrs Gladys Jones "Auntie Glad"

Mrs Gladys Jones
Age 91
Years in the Village 70

"I came to Llanasa * in 1936 from Pantymwyn near Mold. I came to Gyrn Castle!"
Q; "That is the big private house just outside the village isn't it?"
"Oh it's not a house it's a castle!"
"It was beautiful......yes.....I went there as a house maid when I was 16 and there was nine of us there as staff.....we all had to work in them days....when we reached the age of 14!"

"I met my boyfriend [giggles] at a whist drive at Llanasa. Bob was from Trelawnyd ( well Newmarket as it was called then) and I was married from the castle!"

"Major Bates provided me with all of the transport- in them days it was "Jones Avon Goch" and they also gave me the entire reception...all of the food everything!!!
Now I could have held it in the castle itself, only my husband's mother was ill and she lived right next door to where we are right now. so the reception had to be in the village here"

"Before I left the Major said to me....he said Gladys..I must buy you some wine for your reception"
Now I didn't have a clue about wine
So he told me to find the chauffeur and "we'll go and see what you may like!"
"I didn't like ANY of it!"
The day I got married the major gave me fifty pounds.....that was a great deal of money wasn't it?

"I finally settled in Trelawnyd in 1945....only after I had completed my war work"
I have been here ever since!!!

* Llanasa is a small village a mile and a half from Trelawnyd

Mr Bryn Davies

Mr Bryn Davies
Age: 74
Years in the Village 74

"Siop Paper [The paper shop on Chapel Street] was not open on a Sunday.....
NOTHING was open in the village on a Sunday when I was a boy"

"You went three times to Chapel on a Sunday....You went to the Chapel next door [from Chapel House] in the morning all dressed up like, in your Sunday best......Go to Morning service, then have your dinner.
Go to Sunday School for 2pm and then ( and only then), you were allowed to go out in summer!

"You would change from your Sunday best, then go out up the Gop or something and then you had to be back by half past five,  you would change back into your Sunday clothes in order to get ready for evening Chapel at six o'clock!"

"In those days nearly everyone went to Chapel....all three village chapels  were packed back then...."

"We weren't even allowed to get water on a Sunday!.
Me and my brothers were sent out to the street pipes to get water always on a Saturday not Sunday- my mother used to store it in great earthenware pots set up in the kitchen........AND (laughing now with Gladys Jones) you NEVER even peeled a potato on a Sunday did you?......NO!....everything, all the vegetables had to be prepared the day before....always!"

"Even the family shoes, all six sets, had to be polished on a Saturday night NOT ever on a Sunday....and all of them had to be out on the stairs ready for Chapel"

My Question: " What could you do on a Sunday?"

"Nothing much....you could go for a walk but "Don't make a noise!" we were told! (more laughter with Gladys)

"I remember going to chapel one Sunday morning and there was a stone in the road ( he them mimes kicking the stone like a football)
Suddenly some one claps me across the back of the head........do you know who it was?...........E Hughes Jones!!! one of the elders from the church.......
He told me
"Don't kick ANYTHING on a Sunday boy!!"
The old well at the turn of the Century. According to some, there was also a spring under the Still house (located behind the well and to the right) which may have been used by the villagers in very dry weather

Gwyneth Jones

Mrs Gwyneth Jones
D.o.b. 28/12/1926
Years in the Village: 64

"I came to the village when I was 21. We lived in the farm Pen-y-Cefn-Isa, "
"I spent most of the time in those days at the farm, but went down to Trelawnyd (it was then called Newmarket) twice a week. I used to go down to order provisions from I.P Jones (or siop  Ganol which literally means Central Shop in Welsh) for us and an old lady who used to live in a cottage AT Pen-y-Cefn Ucha ,up the lane every Wednesday and used to go to the Methodist Chapel every Sunday. My husband was a  choir man , and never missed choir practice at the Memorial Hall every Tuesday night and Every Saturday night"

"We had no electric...we had paraffin lamps hanging from...... (laughs).......and no water in the house no....we had to go outside with a bucket.......we also had a well outside of the house in the front garden."

The farmhouse at Pen Y Cefn

Voices From The Past; A Start

I have five "interviews" to conduct with a cross section of Trelawnyd Villagers  starting from next Monday, so hope to get the first documented set of anecdotes, memories and photographs ready and published by next weekend.
One person questioned the relevance of their contribution from the 1940s and I must reinforce here that I am interested in ALL memories, memorabilia, photographs and information from every decade up to say the 1970s. To me history and memories are not just confined to the sepia tinted days of Edwardian times....I want to hear anything that anyone will kindly want to share with me...all I ask is that the memory is confined to life in Trelawnyd.
I look forward to hearing from you.